Victoria (B.C.) Times-Colonist
July 3, 1993, page A3
Anti-racists want Gov. Gen. to strip press trio’s medals
by Judith Lavoie
Controversial columnist Doug Collins is hardly a shining example of
the Canadian spirit and his commenmorative Canada 125 medal should be
withdrawn, says the B.C. Organization to Fight Racism.
The group is circulating a cross-Canada petition demanding that Gov.
Gen. Ray Hnatzshyn take back the medals presented to Collins, who
writes for the “North Shore News,” and those presented to Peter Speck,
publisher of the newspaper and Noel Wright, associate editor and
But Collins said the campaign is simply another effort to muzzle him.
“They yearn to shut me up. I think they’re a bunch of fools, Marxists
and left-wing agitators who are dedicated to killing freedom of
speech,” he said.
“They are stricken with an anti-Collins fever and I hope they die of
The medals were presented to Collins, Speck and Wright in January by
the late Chuck Cook, former North Vancouver MP.
About 50,000 of the medals were distributed, with each MP responsible
for awarding 40 of them.
The criteria were that recipients should have made a significant
contribution to their fellow citizens, community or country.
“In our opinion it is a travesty to claim that Doug Collins has worked
to improve North Vancouver,” said Alan Dutton, BCOFR secretary.
“Collins promotes individuals at the forefront of the Holocaust denial
The “North Shore News” publishes material which “demeans, degrades and
maligns minority ethnic groups, First Nations, people of colour,
women, physically challenged individuals, gays and lesbians,” Dutton
The group is illustrating its case with selected Collins quotes.
In October last year he wrote: “A negress from Trinidad was allowed to
stay because she claimed her old man beat her up. You can therefore
expect any fem from anywhere who says hubby threw the frying pan at
her to claim similar treatment.”
In January 1992 he wrote: “The Third World is occupying the classrooms
of much of the Lower Mainland. That is clear both from statistics and
the pictures on TV. Hardly a white face in sight. Which should tell
you something about why we have to have free lunches.”
Dutton is urging people to write letters to their MPs and MLAs and, if
the medals are not withdrawn, a media conference will be held in the
fall and other medal-holders will be urged to return their medals.
Collins said he has no intention of returning his medal.
“The medal was awarded as a result of a decision by a non-political
committee on the North Shore, so obviously a lot of people thought I
was worthy of the honor,” he said.
“I don’t think the Governor General will be small-minded enough to
take any notice of these whiners and whingers.”
Philip Kinsman, a Rideau Hall spokesman, said the protest is
complicated by Cook’s death.
“The appeal should go to the person who made the recommendation but
he’s unfortunately no longer with us,” he said.